BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Dec. 10, 2018 – Following Week 10 of the 2018-19 season, the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is proud to recognize five student-athletes as its Players of the Week. The honorees for games of Dec. 7-8, 2018 are: Bemidji State University sophomore Charlie Combs and Lake Superior State University junior Brayden Gelsinger (Co-Forwards), Minnesota State University junior Ian Scheid (Defenseman), Northern Michigan University senior Atte Tolvanen (Goaltender) and Michigan Technological University freshman forward Trenton Bliss (Rookie).
Charlie Combs, So., Bemidji State (St. Louis, Mo.)
Combs had a banner weekend for Bemidji State, recording his first career hat trick, leading the NCAA with four goals, and tying for the WCHA and national lead with five points. The sophomore from St. Louis, Mo. posted consecutive multi-point games, while factoring in five of the Beavers' six goals during a split with Alabama Huntsville. Combs' first collegiate three-goal performance came in BSU's 4-0 win Friday and was a natural hat trick, the first by a Beavers player since 2008. With BSU ahead 1-0, Combs scored a power-play goal at 15:29 of the second period, an even-strength marker 59 seconds into the third stanza and a second power-play goal at 5:57 of the final frame. In Saturday's contest, he got the Beavers on the board with an unassisted goal 7:04 into the contest and added an assist on Dillon Eichstadt's goal 65 seconds later. This is Combs' first WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his second career honor.
Brayden Gelsinger, Jr., Lake Superior State (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Gelsinger also had a stellar weekend, tying for the NCAA and WCHA lead with five points, while netting his first career hat trick to help Lake Superior State earn a league road sweep at Alaska. The junior from Regina, Saskatchewan almost single-handedly lifted the Lakers to a 5-2 win in Saturday's series finale, assisting on LSSU's second goal before snapping a 2-2 tie with a natural hat trick. Gelsinger gave the Lakers a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal at 4:57 of the second period, added another man-advantage strike just 1:38 later before putting the game away with an empty-net marker late in the third. Before his career-best four-point performance, Gelsinger also contributed an assist to LSSU's 4-1 victory Friday. He helped the Lakers finish the series 5-for-9 on the power play, tying for the WCHA lead with two man-advantage goals and three points. This is Gelsinger's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Kruse, So., Bowling Green (tied for third in the WCHA with four points with back-to-back one-goal, one-assist efforts, helping the No. 12 Falcons to a five-point road weekend at Ferris State); Corey Mackin, Sr., Ferris State (scored a pair of goals on the weekend as the Bulldogs took No. 12 Bowling Green to overtime twice); Marc Michaelis, Jr., Minnesota State (had a three-point effort with two goals and an assist, helping the No. 3 Mavericks to a sweep-clinching win Sunday vs. Alaska Anchorage).
Ian Scheid, Jr., Minnesota State (Coon Rapids, Minn.)
Scheid led all NCAA skaters with a plus-6 rating, while tying for second among WCHA defensemen with three points as No. 3 Minnesota State earned a league home sweep over Alaska Anchorage. The junior from Coon Rapids, Minn. recorded all his points on assists, setting up the Mavericks' first tally in Friday's 4-1 victory before assisting on two goals – including the game-winner – in Saturday's 6-0 triumph. Scheid also blocked two shots and was part of a suffocating Minnesota State defense that held the Seawolves to just 23 shots on goal over the series. This is Scheid's first career WCHA weekly award.
Honorable Mention: Tony Bretzman, Sr., Northern Michigan (recorded the first multi-point game of his Wildcats career with two assists in Friday's 5-3 victory over then-No. 20 Michigan Tech); Dillon Eichstadt, Sr., Bemidji State (posted a three-point weekend with a goal and two assists, including a pair of helpers Friday in the Beavers' 4-0 shutout of Alabama Huntsville); Collin Saccoman, Jr., Lake Superior State (scored one goal, handed out two assists, blocked three shots and finished with a plus-2 rating as the Lakers earned a road sweep at Alaska); Cooper Zech, Fr., Ferris State (led the Bulldogs with three points, all on assists, blocked two shots and finished with an even rating as Ferris State took No. 12 Bowling Green to overtime on back-to-back nights).
Atte Tolvanen, Sr., Northern Michigan (Vihti, Finland)
Tolvanen literally did it all in leading Northern Michigan to a 5-3 victory over then-No. 20 Michigan Tech on Friday night, as he made 23 saves and became only the second goaltender in WCHA men's history to score a goal himself (11th in NCAA Division I men's annals). With the Wildcats leading, 4-2 and Tech having pulled its goalie with 1:07 remaining, Tolvanen corralled a loose puck and sent it the length of the ice and into the empty net – becoming just the fourth NCAA Division I men's netminder (of the 11 credited with a goal) to shoot and score himself. The senior from Vihti, Finland stopped 23 shots that contest and a game-high 36 the next night in Houghton, finishing with a WCHA-best 59 saves on the weekend. This is Tolvanen's second WCHA weekly award of the 2018-19 season and his 10th career honor.
Honorable Mention: Robbie Beydoun, So., Michigan Tech (stopped 28-of-29 shots in his lone appearance of the weekend, leading the Huskies to a 3-1 win Saturday over rival Northern Michigan); Henry Johnson, So., Bemidji State (made 15 saves Friday en route to his second career shutout, a 4-0 blanking of Alabama Huntsville); Nick Kossoff, Sr., Lake Superior State (backstopped the Lakers to a road sweep at Alaska, posting a 1.50 goals-against average, a .943 save percentage and 50 saves – good for second in the WCHA); Dryden McKay, Fr., Minnesota State (logged a 0.50 goals-against average and stopped 22-of-23 shots, including all 12 he faced Saturday for his second career shutout, helping the No. 3 Mavericks sweep Alaska Anchorage.
Trenton Bliss, F, Michigan Tech (Appleton, Wis.)
Bliss tied for the NCAA freshman lead with two goals last weekend and tied for the WCHA rookie scoring lead with three points, making an impact in his first Michigan Tech vs. Northern Michigan series. The Appleton, Wis. native scored a power-play goal each night, while also adding an assist with the man advantage. Bliss had the primary assist on Seamus Donohue's first-period tally that put the Huskies up 1-0 on Saturday, then lit the lamp at 13:44 of the second period for Tech's final goal in a 3-1 victory. His two power-play goals and three man-advantage points both led NCAA rookies. This is the Bliss' first WCHA weekly award of his freshman season.
Honorable Mention: Alex Barber, F, Bowling Green (scored the game-winning goal 25 seconds into overtime Saturday, giving the No. 12 Falcons a 4-3 win and five-point road weekend at Ferris State); Alex Ierullo, F, Bemidji State (recorded his first career game-winning goal Friday, getting BSU on the board 7:09 into the first period and launching the Beavers to a 4-0 victory over Alabama Huntsville); Shane McMahan, F, Minnesota State (assisted on the game-winning tally Friday and scored his first collegiate goal Saturday, helping the No. 3 Mavericks sweep Alaska Anchorage); Ty Readman, F, Northern Michigan (scored his first collegiate goal Friday, tying the game in the second period and helping the Wildcats rally for a 5-3 victory over then-No. 20 Michigan Tech); Cooper Zech, Fr., Ferris State (led the Bulldogs with three points, all on assists, blocked two shots and finished with an even rating as Ferris State took No. 12 Bowling Green to overtime on back-to-back nights).